Information Sources for State-Level Arts Policy: Current Resources and Future Needs

April, 2001

It has been widely accepted that policy-making is best informed by analyses of complete and reliable information that enable policy makers to clarify their goals and foresee the consequences of their interventions. A paucity of such data on the arts has been lamented by many scholars, practitioners and policy-makers in the past.1 In the last five years, however, numerous large-scale research initiatives have been launched to try and fill in the gaps in our general knowledge-base about the arts and to develop a platform of qualitative and quantitative information that can inform both cultural policy and institutional practice. 

But what is the current status of information on state-level arts policy, in particular? What data and resources are available, and what gaps are still apparent? In the process of exploring some answers to these questions, I hope to stimulate thinking about the development and coordination of data platforms that can foster informed state-level arts policy in the future.

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